I was never a good babysitter, I didn't want kids, I was shocked to find out that I liked the baby stage and wished (sort of) that my own kids would stay babies forever.
But, here I am holding a baby. And I'm standing next to my best friend, practically on the equator though a mile up in elevation. And this baby is a symbol of our "projects". Every year our Mennonite group would meet for 10 days and, for the month before, we would make plans. Carefully choosing our victims and planning to ambush them during our relaxing retreat.
We drew and colored elaborate pictures to be left on front doors, sewed awkward stuffed animals for babies, posted little notes, and left surprise gifts on doorsteps; all in an effort to make a few people feel special and loved.
How on earth did two early-teenage girls come up with this idea? Girls, so complicated from day one. A mix of selfless and selfish, sweet and mean, thoughtful and thoughtless. I'm sure that our "victims" were amused and touched, but I know that the joy and excitement we got out of our plans and the covert secret execution so we wouldn't get caught was something that I carry with me still.
That thrill of making someone else happy.